Natures Valley, Nature's Valley, Western Cape
Natures Valley is a small, resort village along the Garden Route. It lies 29 kilometres from Plettenberg Bay, nestled between the Salt River, the foothills of the Tsitsikamma Mountains, the Indian Ocean and the Groot River Lagoon.
Arguably the most beautiful part of this coastline, Natures Valley is a hamlet of only about 50 homes forming part of the Tsitsikamma Reserve and therefore with minimal development so as not to spoil the area. The best part about staying in Nature’s Valley is most likely that it remains virtually “undiscovered”.
Here there are no banks or shopping malls, the small town offers one shop and miles of pristine white beach, scenic walking trails, a beautiful lagoon and peace and quiet. Natures Valley is one of the most tranquil places to canoe along the Garden Route – facilities to hire a canoe can be found at De Vasselot Rest Camp. It is home to some of the countries best hiking trails, a must for your to do list is the Salt River hike where you may just encounter some Cape Clawless Otters along the trail. Nature’s Valley is also the end of the Otter Trail, one of South Africa’s flagship hikes that navigates 42 kilometres of craggy coastline from Storms River before stopping here.
Natures Valley is an ideal destination for a tranquil seaside holiday, full of outdoor fun or lazy beach days, and close enough to enjoy the attractions of Plettenberg Bay and Knysna.
Accommodation offered includes self-catering units and bed and breakfast and camping.
Things to do and see
- Natures Way Farm Stall
- Natures Valley Beach
- Tsitsikamma National Park
- Tsitsikamma Canopy Tours
- Tsitsikamma Mountain Hiking Trail
- Kalander Kloof Hiking Trail
- Salt River Mouth Hiking Trail
- Tsitsikamma Wolf Sanctuary
- Misty Mountain MTB Trail
- Bloukrans Pass
- Bloukrans River Bridge & Bungy Jump
- Groot River Pass
- De Vasselot Nature Reserve
- Formosa Nature Reserve
- Keurbooms River Nature Reserve
Nature’s Valley receives approximately 884 mm of rain annually with rain falling throughout the year.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 13˚C and 27˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 7˚C and 21˚C.
Chemair offers flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town directly to Plettenberg Bay Airport, approximately 42 km away via the R103 and N2. There are daily flights into George airport, approximately 135 km away via the N2 and into Port Elizabeth International Airport, approximately 218 km away via the N2. Car hire facilities are available at both Airports.
Natures Valley shows signs of Old Stone Age life and San Hunter-gatherers lived in the area about 10,000 years ago until they were displaced y Khoi herders from inland.
Travelling along the Garden Route coastline was basically impossible back then and Nature’s Valley only became accessible after Thomas Bain completed the Groot River Pass in 1880. He believed the Pass could halt the runaway destruction of the forest by the Dutch East India Company woodcutters in 1777, which was continued by their descendants.
After the completion of the Pass, the Forestry Department proclaimed three lots of the forest – one for themselves and two to be sold to privately. The first person to settle in the Valley was Hendrik Barnardo, who was a foreman at Bain’s Groot River Construction Camp – he went to extreme lengths to protect the trees and forest in the area.
In 1941 Barnardo sold a portion of his 69-hectare property to ten buyers and in 1943 Baron Ulrich Behr of Kurland bought the option to purchase the remainder of the Barnardo property.
In 1953 the village was declared and formally named Natures Valley by Behr.